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In France and Heading North

March 14, 2012

Each post on this blog builds chronologically on the ones before. Journal entries are written in italics. Comments are written in bold print. I gratefully acknowledge the sources I used to follow Al’s journal and have listed them on the page, “Where to Learn More”.

August 24.
Forward echelon leave Marano for Port of Naples bound for southern France. I’m part of rear echelon to take care of guns and equipment.

August 31.
Took first driving instructions on 2 1/2 ton truck.

Sept. 1.
Pass to Naples.

Sept. 2.
Pisa Captured.

Sept. 11.
Yanks enter Germany- capture Luxembourg. Saw Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyons in Naples: “Hi, Gang” with Jackie Hunter.

Sept. 12.
Driving instructions.

Sept. 13.
Sight-seeing tour of Pompeii and pass to Naples.

Sept. 19.
Started getting rid of guns, equipment before departing for France.

Sept. 26.
Arrived staging area near Naples (box-car Annie)

Oct. 1.
Arrived Nisida port and embarked LST.

Oct. 2.
Departed Italy – destination – France.

Oct. 3.
Passed between Corsica and Sardinia.

Oct. 5.
Disembarked LST and went to railroad station – beer!!

Oct. 6.
Staging area – wet, cold.

Oct. 7.
Departed staging area in jeeps headed for outfit.

Oct. 8.
In Grenoble – Red Cross beautitious tennister. tallked to a gal who parlez’s English

Oct. 9.
Arrived Besancon and turned in Jeeps.

Oct. 10.
Arrived Saint Loup and finally the outfit.
(Nicole, Ganine & Francoise)

Oct. 18.
Left St. Loup.

Oct. 19.
Arrived Vienne

Oct. 20.
Arrived Marseille and spent nite in brickery.

Oct. 21.
Bivouac area. Went to town and looked Marsille over. Docks torn up pretty bacly. Air raid, dropped dud nearby.

Oct. 25.
Navy engages Jap fleet in decisive victory.

Oct. 26.
The 437 AAA-AW-Bn. ceases to exist.

Nov. 2
Heard Three Masses.

Nov. 5.
Pass to Marseille. Picture Taken.

Nov. 7.
Election Day.

Nov. 10.
Second anniversary in the Army. Pass to Marseille.

Nov. 11.
Armistice Day, 1918.

Nov. 17.
Left Marseille (St. Henry). Boarded train and shoved off northward.

As his unit prepared their equipment and trained for what waited for them    next, Al and his fellow G.I.s were able to catch a little R&R.  From the shows he saw to the beer he enjoyed, the opportunities to enjoy a beer, it seems obvious that he most enjoyed any chance he got to visit with a woman. He didn’t really comment about the end of his unit 437 AAA-AA Bn. but it must have been hard  since he’d mostly been in it since he first joined the Army.

By the way, the election he spoke of re-elected FDR.  Some readings indicated that the GIs were not really following the election closely, which makes sense when you consider their day to day realities.  However, we can see that Al was at least aware of it since it is marked in a journal entry.

With his family always on his mind, he sent this photo home.  The back shows the intended recipients.

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